The cycle route follows quiet back roads and uses a cycle lane along the busy A702 to link the two historic villages of Crawford and Abington.

The River Clyde is never far away as you ride first north through the Clyde valley, along the eastern side of the river and then south on the western side.

The nearby hills are the Lowthers, which have been described as God’s Own Treasure House thanks to the naturally occurring gold.

The hills have been mined for this precious mineral since Roman times and while the mines are now closed plenty of reminders remain, including mining villages and miners’ cottages, piles of spoil and old railways.


Mercat cross There is a mercat cross (market cross) at Crawford. The origins of a mercat cross – they can be seen all over Scotland – is that it was erected as a symbolic representation of the right to hold a regular market or fair. It served as an indication of a town’s relative prosperity.

Crawford Castle

Also called Lindsay Tower, the castle is now a ruin, but in the 16th century it was the location for a dinner between King James V and the French ambassador. The king, who was about to be married to Magdalene of France, presented his guests with cups full of gold pieces.


The village was strategically important for the Romans and there is still evidence of forts and settlements in the area. Just north of the village, earthworks date from the 12th century.

Upper Clyde Parish Church

Located in Abington, a grey-and-brown stone church, which is edged in red, has a foundation stone that was laid on August 9, 1898.


Turn left as you leave the car park (heading north)

Follow the road uphill to pass Crawford’s mercat cross, located on a red-chipped traffic island.

Turn right on to Camps Road, signed for Camps Reservoir and  Lindsay Tower.

Once over the River Clyde take first left uphill.

Continue for a couple of miles then turn left at Mountview Caravan Park and continue uphill to Abington.

At the fire station in Abington turn left.

Follow A702 and join the cycle lane.

Continue to a roundabout at Crawford where you take the first left and descend into the village on Carlisle Road to return to start.

The Lowther hills have been mined for gold and lead since Roman times and while the mines are now closed, there are many reminders of this past industry. While you’ll spot piles of spoil, old railway tracks and miners’ cottages, this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the hills but rather this adds interest for passing cyclists. This ride is straightforward with some steep climbs. The route follows a mix of country roads and the A702.



Scotland’s second highest village.

Leadhills Library

The library was founded in 1741 by the mathematician James Stirling and the poet Allan Ramsay. It is the oldest subscription library in Scotland. The oldest man? A gravestone of John Taylor in Leadhills Graveyard suggests he was 137 years old when he died. If this is the case, he is one of the oldest people in recorded history.

Curfew bell

Hanging from a pyramid of posts in the centre of Leadhills is a bell that is dated 1770. The bell was rung to sound the end of shifts and emergencies in the lead mines


Turn left (north) from car park on Carlisle Road. Leave Crawford and continue to a roundabout. 

Turn right at the roundabout for Abington to follow A702 (NCN 74) and join cycle lane on left.

Continue through Abington and then cycle to a roundabout at motorway services. ` Turn left for Douglas B7078, Crawfordjohn B740.

Rejoin cycle lane and continue to next roundabout. Turn right signed Douglas (NCN 74). ` After 0.75 mile, go left, signposted for Crawfordjohn.

Follow road to Crawfordjohn.

At Crawfordjohn, take left at fork and continue past Colebrooke Arms on Main Street.

At the junction at the end of Main Street, turn left and descend past a churchyard.

Climb steeply over a pass known locally as Apache and then descend to T-Junction with B797. Turn right for Leadhills. Follow road for 3 miles.

In Leadhills, turn left for Elvanfoot (Elvanfoot Road). Follow the road for 5 miles to T-junction with Dumfries Road (A702).  Turn left and continue through Elvanfoot.

At a roundabout, follow signs for Carlisle, Beattock and Crawford off to the left and go under the motorway. At a T-junction turn left and join cycle lane (NCN 74) and then the cycle path.

 After 1½ miles, turn right for Crawford and return to start

Dalzell Estate is a picturesque location with a host of features, including ornamental bridges, exotic trees and Japanese gardens. These were the creation of former owners of the estate house, the Hamiltons.

It’s worth taking binoculars and a camera so that you can make the most of the bird hides overlooking the Baron’s Haugh, from where it’s possible to see kingfishers, teal, pochard and red wing, among others.


Nature Reserve

RSPB Baron’s Haugh nature reserve takes the form of a flooded marshland in a bend of the River Clyde. The reserve attracts wintering wildfowl, including widgeon and whooper swans.

Old graveyard

A short detour along Chestnut Walk leads to this very spooky graveyard. Peer into the Hamilton family mausoleum and look out for their pet cemetery.

Dalzell House

The centrepiece of the estate, the impressive building is more than 500 years old. The Hamiltons of Dalzell lived here from the 17th century until the early 1950s. Apparently, at least three ghosts also inhabit the building. It is privately owned.

Covenanters’ Oak

The tree was planted by David I and it’s said to be the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire. This oak sheltered secret religious services held by Covenanters in the 17th century.

Japanese gardens

A pocket of eastern serenity, the gardens were laid out in the 18th century to resemble those of the temple of the Buddha at Nagasaki.

White walk

This roadway was originally created so that miners making their way to work each day didn’t spoil the view from the Dalzell House.


This walk follows the red route, the longest of five marked routes that explore the reserve and estate.

Leaving the RSPB car park, you follow a path signposted “to the hides”. Follow this red ash path downhill to junction with broad path.

Turn right on-to broad path. Watch out for hide on the left.

Turn left off main footpath on-to narrow path through trees.

After a short distance turn left again to join footpath by the River Clyde and follow for about one mile.

At the junction with the Chestnut Walk go through the gate. If you want to see the graveyard go up Chestnut Walk here for a couple of hundred metres, then cross a little stone bridge to the left and retrace your steps back to continue.

Walk up Lime Walk to continue along the riverbank.

At the end of the Lime Walk turn uphill away from the Clyde and go through gate.

Keep left at each fork in the path as you go uphill. Path winds through yew trees and skirts the edge of housing.

At junction with footpath (green route) turn right downhill using the steps guarded by green railing. Once over the burn and marshland the path turns uphill.

At the top of the steps turn left and continue straight on for Dalzell House.

At junction with tarmac road turn left past Dalzell House’s impressive frontage and then right downhill past the Covenanters’ Oak.

At bottom of the hill cross bridge and then turn right or follow path through Japanese gardens.

A short distance beyond the gardens turn left off the main avenue. When path forks go to the right.

Cross tarmac road (White walk) to return to car park.

Cyclists will enjoy a pleasant route that follows country lanes through a rolling rural landscape. There are plenty of interesting stopping points, such as Wilsontown and its iron foundry, the sleepy hamlet of Auchengray and quiet woodlands that are perfect for a picnic.


Iron Foundry

Founded in 1812, the Wilsontown Iron Foundry is on the site of the first iron works in Lanarkshire, and only the second in Scotland. There are a series of walks that explore what remains of the foundry.


The distinctive village church is modelled on a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt. (next to the primary school in Auchengray)

West Forth Woodland

A forest located in gently rolling countryside around West Forth, near to Forth with a good network of paths and tracks for walking, cycling or horse riding.


From the St Paul’s Parish Church in Wilsontown go to the left – downhill – and take the first left into Manse Road. This is 150m or so and after a road sign highlighting a main road turning right.

Follow Manse Road out of Forth to a T-junction at a former church. Turn left, and then after 200m turn right (signed for Auchengray).

Follow road through Wilsontown and round to the left, heading into rolling farmland.

Follow road through Haywood and at a left bend in road follow a sign for Auchengray.

After crossing a railway bridge, there is a steep climb into Auchengray. Turn right at a T-junction and cycle through the hamlet.

Leave Auchengray, heading downhill and follow the road round to the right and over a level crossing.

Follow long straight road to a T-junction at Eastshield Farm.

Turn right, signed for Forth.

Climb into Braehead. Continue through Braehead and descend, ignoring the first left – Bog Road – and continue on the road following sign for Wilsontown.

At bungalows (look for road on left with a sign warning of ford) and take that left for the ford.

Descend to cross the ford or use a bridge in flood and continue on road to climb into Forth.

At a T-junction, turn left into Manse Road and continue to the end of road and turn right on to main road to return to start.

This route follows much of the Lanarkshire leg of the Glasgow to Edinburgh national cycling network (NCN 75). Avoiding busy roads it carves a pleasant route through central Scotland.

Not far beyond Bargeddie station, the route leaves the roads behind to follow the towpath by the Monkland Canal and to explore the tracks through Drumpellier Country Park and around Lochend Loch. That peace is shattered, however, when you reach your final destination – Summerlee... known as ‘Scotland’s noisiest museum.’


Monkland Canal

Designed by James Watt in 1770, the 13-mile-long canal was built to take coal from Coatbridge and Airdrie to Glasgow. Look out for the quays and ‘windings’, where boats were loaded with coal.

Drumpellier Country Park

54 hectares of ancient, semi-natural woodland. Stop off at the visitor centre for a snack. Tel: 01236 422257.

Bank Street Basin

Bold art installations bring alive memories of the area’s iron, coal and steel industries. Look out for the stick of gelignite and Bleezin, an excerpt from a poem, recalling the sight of tens of blazing factory chimneys, by Janet Hamilton.

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Heritage

Based around the site of the Summerlee ironworks, this vividly recreates Lanarkshire’s industrial past. There are tram rides, tours of the recreated mine and working machinery. Hundreds of exhibits tell the story of the area. (free entry; open daily) Tel: 01236 638460. Read more about it here


Leave Uddingston railway station and continue to Main Street. Cross at the pedestrian crossing to the right and straight over to join the cycle path on the opposite side running parallel to the railway track – signed as NCN 75, Bargeddie 3, Coatbridge 6.

At the end of the cycle path, you’ll enter a residential cul-de-sac. Continue straight on to the mini-roundabout and turn left. Follow NCN 75 (not NCN 74).

Follow the cycle route through an underpass and continue to the traffic lights at New Edinburgh Road. Go straight over and climb a moderate slope up Spindlehowe Road to the junction with Old Edinburgh Road and turn left.

At Tannochside Old Club, turn right on to Armstrong Crescent. Opposite No. 35 Armstrong Way take the short cycle path off to the right. At the end of the path turn left and follow NCN 75 along Vallantine Crescent. Continue to the junction with Guthrie Drive – second on your left – and follow to a roundabout.

Join the footpath/cycleway at the roundabout on the right as directed. Continue over Tannochside Drive and past Tannochside Business Park to take the next exit, Aitkenhead Road. Follow the cycle path down then uphill towards Showcase Leisure Park. Follow the cycle path to the right and then over a road. Return to Aitkenhead Road and continue under the M8 - signposted Drumpellier Country Park 2.

Remain on the footpath, and use it to negotiate a roundabout at the entrance to the leisure park and travel in the direction of the A752, Gartcosh and Muirhead. After a short distance, enter Bargeddie and follow the road to Bargeddie railway station (an alternative starting point).

Continue past the Langmuir Inn – using the footpath/cycle path.

At the roundabout at Bargeddie Community Centre, turn right and continue to a pedestrian crossing and across the dual carraigeway.

Travel a short distance to the left and then turn right down a lane. At the end of the lane, turn right along Maple Grove, with good views of Tinto Hill.

At the next junction, turn right into Cherryridge Drive, and follow to a roundabout. Turn right and then immediately go off to the left and join a red gravel path signed for Drumpellier 1, Coatbridge 2, Airdrie 5.

Cross a steel bridge and continue through woods to emerge at the Monklands Canal. Turn right and follow a towpath. Go under the Drumpellier Bridge and then uphill to the right and cross over the bridge. At the T-junction of paths, turn left to follow a gravel path running parallel to the railway line. After a short distance, turn right over a railway bridge and continue to the entrance of Drumpellier Country Park. Lift your bike over a specially lowered fence and turn left to follow a gravel path downhill through woodland, then to the right. Stay on the red ash path, keeping left, until it joins an access road. Turn left and continue through a gate at nursery woodland. Continue to Lochend Loch and go around the loch in a clockwise direction to return to nursery woodland (there is a visitor centre halfway round).

Leave the loch by the Country Park access road and follow uphill, then downhill past a school and playing fields. Go under the railway line and continue to the junction with Blair Road. Turn right and descend over Blair Bridge. Go through a gateway on the right signed for Monkland Canal NCN 75.

Turn right and go under the Blair Bridge and up a tarred path that follows the route of the filled-in canal across West End park and then under Merryton Bridge. Follow a broad tarred path, past the artworks in Bank Street Basin. At the giant Lees’ snowballs under the railway bridge, turn left and go between barrier and bridge support to join West Canal Street

Take the first left, Heritage Way, and follow to the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Heritage.